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AIMS: Huge outdoors display for Ford

Interactive 4600 square-metre Ford stand to put AIMS visitors behind the wheel

Ford logo16 Oct 2012

FORD Australia will put showgoers behind the wheel of the Focus small car and Ranger Wildtrak ute on a small test circuit outside the front doors of the Darling Harbour venue at this week’s Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.

A large 4600-square-metre outdoor stand will complement Ford’s presence inside the venue, which at 480 square metres will be around a third the size of fellow local car-makers Holden and Toyota, and will “showcase the future direction of Ford’s vehicles and technology”.

As we have reported, the Blue Oval will also stage the local premieres of a pair of crucial new SUV models – the EcoSport and Kuga – months out from their local launches.

The outdoor course has been constructed from blue shipping containers, with up to seven vehicles circulating around the mini-circuit over the course of the show.

The test circuit will enable punters to test the automatic parking and autonomous braking systems on the Focus, and the hill-start ascent and descent programs on the Ranger, while the new four-cylinder EcoBoost Falcon will be strapped to a ‘dyno’ display.

 center imageFrom top: 2013 Ford EcoSport, Kuga.

Visitors will be able to get close to the next-generation Kuga compact SUV well before it goes on sale here in the first half of next year, with Ford staff demonstrating its automatic tailgate, which operates with a motion-detecting sensor.

The new Kuga will launch less than 18 months after Ford Australia belatedly released the current model here in February this year, and will feature a much broader range to tackle the market-leading Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4.

The high-riding EcoSport is based on the Fiesta city car and will go up against rivals including the forthcoming Holden Trax, Peugeot 2008 and potentially the Nissan Juke.

Power will come from the award-winning 88kW/170Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost turbo-petrol engine that will also feature here from next year in the Fiesta, and possibly the Focus. It won the International Engine of the Year award earlier this year and is related to the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot now used in the Falcon.

The outdoor section will also include a static display of Ford’s entire model range – including the new Focus ST hot hatch and FPV RSPEC – as well as the local debut of next year’s Ford Performance Racing V8 supercar, furnished in Ford’s international black, white and blue colours and covered in EcoBoost decals.

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